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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2014.

Start date: 05/20/2014


End date: 05/17/2019
Start price/share: $48.96
End price/share: $45.70
Starting shares: 204.25
Ending shares: 236.71
Dividends reinvested/share: $7.77
Total return: 8.18%
Average annual return: 1.59%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $10,819.75

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 1.59%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $10,819.75 today (as of 05/17/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 8.18% (something to think about: how might WFC shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Wells Fargo & Co paid investors a total of $7.77/share in dividends over the 5 holding period, marking a second component of the total return beyond share price change alone. Much like watering a tree, reinvesting dividends can help an investment to grow over time — for the above calculations we assume dividend reinvestment (and for this exercise the closing price on ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.8/share, we calculate that WFC has a current yield of approximately 3.94%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.8 against the original $48.96/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.05%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Know what you own and why you own it.” — Peter Lynch